A Brief Introduction to Automotive Relay Panels

An automotive relay panel is one of the most essential components of a wire harness within a vehicle. The wires in an electrical circuit act as the paths for the transmitted electrical currents in different parts of the vehicle. Automotive switches and relays are often operated by electromagnets, which are responsible for blocking or switching the power supply, thus deactivating and activating various functions of the car.

At present, most automotive companies pride themselves on producing sophisticated vehicles with complex functions. These modern features require more components and complex electrical systems which consist of hundreds of parts that work together to provide the necessary functions to operate the automobile.

Functions Of  Automotive Relay Panels

As aforementioned, the main function of an automotive relay panel is to act as a power switch for the electrical system of the vehicle. The electromagnetic device that mechanically makes or breaks the electrical connection is considered the most fundamental part of an automotive relay panel.

These electromagnetic devices utilize metal contacts that let electricity flow when touching each other and at the same time break the flow of electricity when detached. Automotive relays also come in various shapes and sizes which cater to different types of applications.

Types of Automotive Relays

Automotive relays come in different shapes and sizes depending on the function. Knowing the different kinds of relays can help you determine what is right for your car’s electrical system.

  1. Change over relays

As the most common type of automotive relay, these have five pins that can function as normally open, normally closed, or change over relays.

  1. Normally open relays
  2. Potted relays
  3. Flasher relays
  • Thermal flasher
  • Electro-mechanical flasher
  • LED Flashers
  • Wig-wag flashers
  1. Skirted relays
  2. Time delay relays
  3. Dual open contact relays

The Benefits of Installing Good-Quality Automotive Relay Panels

Since automotive relays come in different types, it’s also important to choose wisely when it comes to quality. Installing an automotive relay panel can come with numerous benefits such as the ones listed below.

  • Provides a smooth transition from low current to high.
  • Installing a good quality relay panel can allow you to smoothly switch from low to high current without any risk of overloading the circuit.


  • Multi-tasks using a single switch.
  • A reliable automotive relay panel can allow you to break or continue multiple circuits to perform different functions within one signal input.


  • Cost-efficient.
  • Understandably, components that require higher currents are more expensive than those that require components of lower currents. Installing an automotive relay panel allows you to limit the installation by utilizing only what is necessary.


  • Can come with modern logical functions.
  • Most modern automotive car relays utilize logical functions to perform simple modern technological features. It’s also easier and cheaper to install compared to programmable logical functions.


For many car enthusiasts, building a vehicle from the ground up is a common hobby. This includes the entire electrical system that runs throughout the vehicle. Having the proper knowledge when it comes to installing an automotive relay panel can be beneficial to the integrity of the electrical system as a whole.

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